Gifting is my love language and so I just LOVE giving holiday gifts to my sweet third graders. The only problem? It can get pricey pretty quick. I want to share a few simple gift ideas that won't break the bank or require any Martha Stewart type crafting. 1. Books I absolutely adore giving my students a special book before saying goodbye for winter break. I enjoy writing sweet notes in the front of each book and I imagine them treasuring the book for life. Or at least until they get those fancy electronics from Santa! Don't run off to Barnes and Noble to buy these books. I love that place, but it would cost way to much to buy 24 chapter books for my students. Buy from Scholastic! Find the $1 books or a set of books that work for your grade level. This year I am buying each of my students a copy of Winter According to Humphrey. I LOVE this book! This year, each of my kids will be getting the same book. (We just love Humphrey!) Most of the time though, I buy a ...
I am so excited and honored to join some very talented teacher bloggers for the Books Teachers Love linky! If you are not familiar with this blog series- it is a monthly event where bloggers share seasonal book recommendations for the classroom and activities that use with the books. It is a great way to get a head start on reading plans for next month!  Every December, I read The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy to my third graders. They always love that the book is written from the point of view of a puppy. Petey asks his mom for a little boy for Christmas. His mom tries to get him a boy but sadly reports to Petey that there are no boys to be found. Petey goes on a search for a boy of his own. The book has a heartwarming ending where Petey ends up finding himself 50 boys!  The holiday season is a tricky time to keep kids engaged in the important skills that we must teach. I think that using some special holiday mentor texts can help disguise the practice! I like to re...
I use book clubs (also known as literature circles) in all of my guided reading groups. Students love reading chapter books with their peers and they are very low prep for the teacher. The success of your book clubs is tied very closely to the books you choose to read. When the right sets of books are chosen, a teacher can have students engaged and practicing all the skills needed to master the grade level standards! Here are some tips that I have learned for picking good book club books. My school uses Lexile levelers. Regardless of what type of book level system you use, it is essential that you are choosing books that meet the group's needs. No one enjoys reading a book that they don't understand, but we still want to challenge our readers. Spend some time determining the reading level of the students in the group and look for books that are on the higher end of their level. I consider this to be their instructional level. They may need my support, but they will...